electracy: hitting the tip of the iceberg

““Electracy” is to digital media what literacy is to alphabetic writing: an apparatus, or social machine, partly technological, partly institutional”

-Gregory Ulmer

To say that I was a bit confused after reading Greg Ulmer’s theory of electracy is an understatement. After watching his video where he explains electracy more in depth, I started to get a better feel for what exactly his theory entails. Ulmer believes that with our transition into a digital world, there are a set of skills that are needed to use these new media to their fullest potential. Ulmer says that it is necessary to look at new media in an apparatus theory, meaning we must look at new technology as a social machine that consists of three interactive elements; technology, institutional formation and practices, and identity formation.

A result of new media is the emergence of a new apparatus and Ulmer believes electracy will add another dimension to thought, practice, and identity. Ulmer refers to a sort of literacy of the digital world. He says,

“Electracy needs to do for digital imaging what literacy did for the written word.”

Initially, written language was used for the most basic and functional purposes but once people became literate they were able to write poetry and novels filled with emotions and theories. Ulmer wants this  very same transition for digital media, for there to be a more emotional depth to digital media by using digital images to connect and effectively communicate shared sentiments and taking that to the next level by being digitally literate.

I think digital media plays a pertinent role in communication in our society. There are so many new forms of communication since the emergence of written language. Today, we primarily use digital media to communicate whether that be texting, messenger applications, video chat, or social media websites. Our society has shifted and I think it is necessary to add emotion and depth to a digital world because technology often lacks that. We need to find a way to use technology effectively communicate sentiments and add more of a meaning to our technological society. We are in a new age where we are only hitting the top of the iceberg that is technology. Technology will only continue to advance and grow so we must educate ourselves in order to add a meaning to this digital world. Knowledge will be key in the evolution of the psychology of technology.

Hitting the iceberg

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